Jenny Whiteley sings beautiful bluegrass numbers and on her newest album, The Original Jenny Whiteley, her voice soars. Released Sept. 16, the record is both tender and funny.
The album is full of Whiteley’s earthy voice and gorgeous harmonies, lighthearted lyrics and country twang. “Banjo Girl” uses foot-stomping fiddle and banjo picking, as does “Oxford Town/Old Mother Flanagan,” which is one of several pieces that have male perspectives sung by a female vocalist. The effect is carried off very well. Songs have silly or happy lyrics including, “Groundhog,” a song about hunting the furry troublemaker, and “Higher Learning,” a tune about learning how to love.
The album has many popular traditional tunes. These include “Stealin’ Stealin’” and “In the Pines,” a song covered by a wide variety of artists before her, including alternative band Nirvana. The album as a whole meanders with songs of life and love with an early 1900’s vocal style.
Overall, Whiteley’s album is a lot of fun and very relaxing. Her version of traditional bluegrass melds well with her down-to-earth voice and acoustic skills. It takes its time from opening song, “$100” to its final tune, “Things are Coming My Way”, singing about the good things in life. It will make you appreciate the happiness in your own.